A title-winning coach with Maribor in Slovenia, the 46-year-old was an odd choice for the Whites and an unpopular one with the fans, many of whom had hoped to see Neil Redfearn recruited to the role, following a successful stint in charge on a caretaker basis.
But this time round Massimo Cellino has listened, with the 49-year-old Yorkshireman set to be named permanent manager following a poor run of results under Milanic.
Will Redfearn succeed where Hockaday and Milanic failed? Here are three reasons why we are backing the Barnsley Premier League legend to save Leeds’ season.
Redfearn knows Leeds United
Previously employed by Halifax Town and later York, it’s with Leeds United that Redfearn has cut his teeth in the managerial game, having been involved with the club since being appointed coach of the under-18 side back in January 2009.
Since then the 49-year-old has been employed in a variety of roles at Elland Road including reserve team manager, first-team coach, head coach, head of the development squad and, of course, caretaker manager.
This gives Redfearn an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the Leeds squad as well as a unique insight into what worked and what didn’t work under former managers like Simon Grayson, Neil Warnock and Brian McDermott.
He’s already enjoyed some success
Named caretaker manager of Leeds United on no fewer than three occasions, Redfearn showed some signs of early promise during his first stint in the Elland Road hot seat, with the Whites winning two of the four games they played under the Yorkshire man.
And the former Barnsley favourite continued to impress in his most recent spell in charge after helping Leeds recoup 10 points from the 12 available under the 49-year-old in a haul that had some dreaming of an outside shot at the playoffs.
Those results were clearly no fluke either, with Milanic’s subsequent run of six games without a win showing just how well Redfearn had done during his time in charge.
With a Leeds man back in charge, don’t rule out seeing the Whites mount a shock assault on the playoffs just yet.
Youth will win over experience
One of the most concerning aspects of the Cellino era to date, has been the alarming number of journeymen players that have been brought into the club at the expense of nurturing more home-grown talent.
While the likes of Giuseppe Bellusci and Mirko Antenucci have been solid enough, others like Adryan and Brian Montenegro have left many fans scratching their heads.
The return of Redfearn to the Leeds United dugout should at least ensure more of the club’s young talent gets a look in over the next few months and could see a few surprise stars emerge from the ether.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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